Steers knock off No. 11 Rams, 76-72


Texas College caused more shock waves in the Red River Athletic Conference, with the latest ripple affecting the league’s supreme team.

The Steers sunk enough key buckets down the stretch as Texas College continued its smooth sailing in a 76-72 win over No. 11 Texas Wesleyan in an early-season showdown on Monday at Gus F. Taylor Gymnasium.

TC (10-1, 5-0 in the RRAC) entered the game unranked — the NAIA releases the updated Top 25 poll today — and rated as the conference’s second-best team behind Texas Wesleyan, that despite wins over every team on the schedule, including one over then-nationally-ranked Southwestern Assemblies of God last week.

The Steers just missed cracking last week’s poll with the 27th-most votes. The Rams currently hold the nation’s longest active streak (57 consecutive weeks) in the Top 25. The Steers jumped ahead by 14 points and eventually trailed by five before surging ahead after allowing only one field goal over the final five minutes.

“That was a big win, with that caliber of team we played,” Steers head coach Marquet Norfleet said. “When we jumped out, I told them no need to celebrate. They stay consistent on what they do and they kept coming.

“We had a spurt where we weren’t defending well. I’m glad at the end we were able to pull it through.”

The Steers battled back from a five-point hole with 5:02 showing, holding the Rams scoreless for more than four minutes while going on an 11-0, game-changing run.

Jamal Robertson netted a team-high 22 points, including a putback after rebounding a missed shot in the air to cut the TC deficit to one. Tyler native Kerry Jones posted 20 points and 14 rebounds, scoring off an offensive rebound for the go-ahead bucket to make it 68-67 with 2:33 remaining.

The Steers sealed the win with eight free throws down the stretch, including a pair from Wendell Maye after an intentional foul at the 1:34 mark. The Steers now lead the Rams (8-2, 3-1) by 1ᄑ games for first place.

The Lady Steers drifted in the second half to fall 80-73 to Texas Wesleyan in the women’s game. Texas College (2-9, 1-4) entered the half tied at 34 and held a seven-point lead (58-51) at the 10-minute mark before the Lady Rams (7-2, 3-1) recorded 10 straight points to take control.

Ashli Smith shined in defeat with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Lady Steers.

The Steers started the men’s game on fire, jumping out to a 14-point lead in less than nine minutes, with Jones and Robertson hitting for eight points apiece for a 21-7 advantage.

The Rams chased down the Steers by halftime, using their sixth 3-pointer of the first half to take their first lead at 36-35. The Steers trailed the next nine minutes and after taking a brief three-point lead dropped right back behind by seven (65-58) after going scoreless for more than seven minutes.

The Steers buckled down from there, holding the hot-shooting Rams to one trey over the final 16 minutes. TWU’s Dallas Jones paced all scorers with 27 points.

The Steers received a big game off the bench from Titus Stevenson, who finished with 17 points. Stevenson secured four offensive boards, helping the Steers win the rebounding battle 46-39 and score 14 second-chance points.

“In the second half we wanted to pick up our defensive effort,” Norfleet said. “We can’t always rely on our ability to score; we have to defend.

“Now everyone knows Texas College can play. Now we have to go even harder.”

———

Women

Texas Wesleyan 80, Texas College 73

TEXAS WESLEYAN (7-2, 3-1)—Toeisha Cooper 8-15 6-10 22, Carneisha Sims 2-6 2-2 6, Kayla McCray 7-15 1-3 15, Takoia Larry 4-11 0-1 8, J’Tierra Brown 3-10 6-8 12, Kashyla Fields 2-60-0 5, Andre’a Davis 3-7 0-3 6, Kalynn Williams 2-5 0-0 4, Courtney Turner 0-2 0-0 0, Jazmyn Gingratt 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 32-79 15-27 80.

TEXAS COLLEGE (3-8, 2-3)—Keyara Criner 4-17 7-10 15, Shirley McGowen 0-0 0-0 0, Ashli Smith 8-17 6-11 22, Connie Espinas 4-8 0-0 10, Sekeya Roberson 5-16 5-8 15, Anissia Robinson 0-2 0-0 0, Denise Duplechin 3-3 0-0 6, Amber Girdy 1-7 2-2 4, Jasmine Becks 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 25-73 21-33 73.

Halftime-Tied at 34. 3-Point Goals-TWU 1-13 (Sims 0-1, Larry 0-2, Brown 0-2, Fields 1-1, Davis 0-2, Williams 0-3), TC 2-11 (Criner 0-2, Smith 0-1, Espinas 2-5, Girdy 0-1, Becks 0-2). Fouled Out-Roberson. Rebounds-TWU 57 (Cooper 16), TC 52 (Smith 14). Assists-TWU 22 (Brown 9), TC 14 (Roberson, Espinas 4). Total Fouls-TWU 22, TC 24.

———

Men

Texas College 76, Texas Wesleyan 72

TEXAS WESLEYAN (8-2, 3-1)—Chris Angsomewine 4-5 0-0 8, Dallas Jones 9-19 3-4 27, Jazz Holman 0-2 1-2 1, Brian Talley 2-4 0-0 4, Mo Weathers 5-11 0-1 12, Teance Walton 0-0 0-0 0, Darius Daniels 0-0 0-0 0, Oscar Griffin 5-11 5-6 17, Bryan Werner 1-4 1-1 3. Totals 26-56 10-14 72.

TEXAS COLLEGE (10-1, 5-0)—Kerry Jones 9-17 2-2 20, Norman Stewart 0-6 0-0 0, Eddren McCain 1-8 2-3 4, Wendell Maye 3-8 2-2 8, Jamal Robertson 7-16 4-6 22, Micah Fisher 0-2 0-0 0, Titus Stevenson 5-13 4-4 15, Hakeem Poles 0-0 0-0 0, Sherrod Phillips 0-0 0-0 0, Brandon Lee 2-7 2-2 7, Jhimetrious Cochran 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-79 16-19 76.

Halftime-TWU 39, TC 37. 3-Point Goals-TWU 10-25 (Jones 6-14, Holman 0-1, Talley 0-2, Weathers 2-6, Griffin 2-2), TWU 6-22 (Jones 0-1, Stewart 0-3, McCain 0-3, Maye 0-1, Robertson 4-8, Fisher 0-1, Stevenson 1-3, Lee 1-2). Rebounds-TWU 39 (Angsomewine 5, Jones 5, Holman 5, Walton 5, Griffin 5), TC 46 (Jones 14). Assists-TWU 14 (Weathers 5), TC 10 (McCain 4). Total Fouls-TWU 20, TC 18.